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Field-guide authors tell which binoculars they use

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Binoculars. Photo by Stanislas Perrin. Wikimedia Commons.
Binoculars. Photo by Stanislas Perrin. Wikimedia Commons.

Which binoculars are the people behind the latest field guides using? We asked some well-known authors.

Both Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, authors of The Warbler Guide, use Zeiss Victory binoculars. Tom uses the Victory SF 10×42, while Scott uses the Victory HT 8×42. Jonathan Alderfer and Jerry Liguori are Zeiss Victory owners, too. Both prefer the Victory FL 8×42. Alderfer is the editor of National Geographic Complete Birds of North America. Liguori is the author or co-author of three books about raptors, including Hawks at a Distance.

Learn about the Zeiss Victory binoculars.

Richard Crossley, creator of the Crossley ID Guide series, is also a Zeiss man, but of an earlier vintage. He uses Zeiss Dialyt 7x42s, purchased in 1987. “Although there are no doubt slightly better optics out there,” he says, “they still get the job done.”

David Sibley, author of the Sibley Guide to Birds and other books, uses Swarovski EL 10×42 binoculars. Kenn Kaufman, the author or co-author of many books, including the Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest, uses ELs, too, but prefers the 8.5x42s, and he also likes to carry an older pair of Leica Ultra 8x42s, which he says are very sharp and seemingly indestructible.


Learn about the Swarovski EL binoculars.

Cameron Cox and Dale Rosselet use Leica binoculars, too. Cox, co-author of the Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching, uses the Ultravid HD 8×42. Rosselet, a co-author of the Peterson Reference Guide to Birding by Impression, uses the Ultravid HD 8×32.

Learn about the Leica Ultravid binoculars.

A version of this article appeared in the February 2016 issue of BirdWatching magazine.


Read articles by and about David Sibley.

Read articles by and about Kenn Kaufman.


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Originally Published